#1
Has anyone done this? Is it worth it on this particular amp? The stock output transformer just seems so tiny and cheap... I am thinking about upgrading the output transformer and installing the choke. I'll keep the power transformer as it seems that it won't make that mugh of a difference in tone. Any thoughts?
#2
Whether or not it is worth it depends on a number of factors, specifically your own opinion and needs. Is it worth it to you to put the extra cash into this particular amp. Do you gig a lot with this particular amp? Do you record a lot with it? Is there anything specific that you aren't happy with when it comes to the tone of the amp? Have you tried simpler and less expensive/intensive mods first like swapping preamp tubes? Bias mod 4.7k resistor should also be put on your list of things to have done if you plan to go the whole transformer swap and choke.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#3
I have a soft spot for this amp. I've modded it into a head and done all sorts of aesthetic stuff. Dedicated much time and effort on this baby and I really like the sound, but it needs an EQ pedal in the loop to make it sound really great, more alive and chunky. The fact that it has that tiny transformer makes me think that it would be a nice upgrade, and i don't mind investing some money, if that will help me on pursuing on my perfect-tone quest! Oh, and the bias mod is on the list too, along wiht the choke and the output transformer!
#4
It would make a difference, but I can't say that it would make so much a difference that it is worth dumping that kind of additional cash into it.

I would say go with the choke and bias mod first. I think that will make the biggest difference all the way around. And you may find that you are happy with it after that point. Small steps often yield desired results. It would be a shame to dump all of those components into that amp at once and not be happy with the result - and then have to try to figure out what did what that you didn't like.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#6
Quote by diabolical
I'd say swap the amp for USA made 5150 or 6505 head and call it a day.

This

or upgrade to a Soldano Avenger
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#7
I see your point Thunder, and I have to yield. Anyway, just thought I could ask and see if anyone had done this, so I could get the real picture. But yes, you do have a point.

Diabolical, I'd love to, but it would still be a lot cheaper to do the mods than to buy the USA made stuff. Even second hand, USA made heads would cost, at least, some 750€ (near 850$) here in Portugal. The mods will cost 350€. Not only I do not have that kind of cash, but I'd only buy the head if I sold my amp first (absolutely no need to have both)... And I really don't want to give it away... just want to make it sound better

Thanks for the replies, lads
#8
i have to agree that it probably isn't worth it. i haven't ever A/B'd two of the same amps with different transformers, but i can say i do appreciate big iron. but i don't know if it is all in the mind or not.

+1 on bumping up to the USA 6505+ head that would be a solid upgrade for sure.
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#9
I can't say that a better transformer wouldn't improve your sound, but I haven't heard of anybody doing that to a 6505+ 112.

But...have you tried the effects loop mod? It will cost you around 75 cents provided you already have soldering equipment. Since I did it to mine, the EQ pedal has become a lot less necessary (I still prefer the sound with it, but if I forgot to bring it to a gig, it wouldn't bother me). The biggest difference I hear is that the amp sounds a lot more massive/less fizzy when using the effects loop, which is pretty much necessary if you use any time-based effects.

Also, what cab/speakers are you using? Are you still using the stock tubes?

I ask this because mine does sound absolutely massive and devastating with all the measures I've taken. I'm going to try modding the lead channel to 5150 specs in a few weeks, just to see if I like that better. But all of the mods I've done to the amp itself have been dirt cheap, other than tube upgrades.

Anyway, if you do upgrade the transformer, I'd like to be the first to know how it goes...
#10
KailM, good to hear from you.
Still haven't done the FX Loop mod, but that's being taken care of as we speak. I had a problem and had to take the amp to the tech, so I decided to ask the tech to do the mods for me: fx loop and bias ajustment mod. Still not sure if I'll upgrade the output transformer and install the choke, I'm still expecting a call from him to figure out if it's possible or not (the parts are not easy to find around here, and I still don't know how much it is price-wise). My guess is that I'll spend a little fortune, but whatta heck, it's my "baby" we're talking about here anyway and the guy does know what he's doing, so I'm expecting good things!

I'm using a Marshall 1922 with V30s in it. Not the best cab in the world, but it's way more than enough to play in my apartment.
The majority of the preamp tubes are still stock, maybe 3 years old, but the power section ones have a year or so (JJs, btw, and they sound great).

And don't worry man, If the transformers come, I'll tell ya all about it!
#11
Let me ask you two questions, mate.

What's your thoughts about those Black Winter pickups? Been searching for some feedback about those pickups, and seymour duncans in general. Do you find them too hot for the clean stuff?
Don't you find that 6505+ 112 output transformer rather small? Like, tinny, for the kind of amp it's supposed to be? Shit, I seen 20 watters with trannys taller than the power tubes they carry inside. For a 60 watt all-tube high gain amp, shouldn't it have way more iron?

Cheers man
Last edited by Kivenkantaja at May 27, 2015,
#12
Quote by Kivenkantaja
Let me ask you two questions, mate.

What's your thoughts about those Black Winter pickups? Been searching for some feedback about those pickups, and seymour duncans in general. Do you find them too hot for the clean stuff?
Don't you find that 6505+ 112 output transformer rather small? Like, tinny, for the kind of amp it's supposed to be? Shit, I seen 20 watters with trannys taller than the power tubes they carry inside. For a 60 watt all-tube high gain amp, shouldn't it have way more iron?

Cheers man


The Black Winters provide EXCELLENT cleans, on any setting. I have a push/pull volume pot and get a distinct tone out of every possible selection, be it split/bridge-only, split/both pups, split neck, or full humbucking on any pickup selection. They are fairly hot, but not like my Blackouts or Emgs. I sometimes back off the volume knob just a hair.

As for the OT, I can't speak to that, because I've never owned an amp with a larger one. It seems to do the job on mine just fine. In fact, it's possible to dial in too much low-end. It really does hit me like a truck when turned up loud and standing in front of it; I have no need for more volume or low-end whatsoever. I never even turn it up past 3; and it's ridiculous at that volume. But I have a 412 cab (with the same dimensions as a Marshall 1960a) and I run two speakers (Swamp Thangs) known for their low-end, plus Eminence Governors which have more low-mids than V 30s.

It's possible you may be expecting too much out of your 212 cab. I mean, those are decent cabs, but their volume (size, not decibels) is a little small to expect a lot of low-end chunk. You might think about adding a G12-K100 speaker to fill-in the bottom a little more, or upgrade to an oversized 212 cab like a Mesa Rectifier or Orange PPC 212. Of course, I do love the sound of a 412, even when it's not cranked.

Again though, an OT upgrade might do something, I just don't have enough experience with that to say how much it will affect your tone. Hopefully someone else will chime in.
#13
I can't speak for the 6505 -- my thought is that if you're using it for its intended purpose, you probably won't be able to tell enough of a difference with Mercury Mag stuff.

I have just one basis of comparision for MM stuff. I have a pair of Epiphone Valve Jr heads. Both purchased new within days of each other, both sounded identical when new. One got the MM mod (about $300 worth of transformers and choke and a few other bits and pieces, plus about $140 labor), the other is still stock. In this case, the difference is night and day -- I get to visit with the MM version when it comes back home after having been stole...er...borrowed for someone's studio time. It was a $99 head back when, and putting $400+ into it makes no fiscal sense at all, but I can't really think of a $500 new amp in the same wattage range that I'd trade it for.

OT's can definitely make a difference, trust me. Don't half-do the job if you're going for it. The circuit from the OT to the speaker voice coil is probably the most important one in a tube amp. Drop a crap attenuator onto an amp and you'll find that the interruption of that circuit with a stack of resistors definitely changes the sound. I think that they also make a difference in the volume of the amp. YMMV.

I'm not sure I'd recommend spending the money on a 6505; it doesn't make sense. Which is what I was told (by everyone but MM) when I hung the mod on the Epi Valve Jr. But the 6505 is a high-gain thing with a very limited voice, and I'm not at all sure that using it like that doesn't negate whatever good the MM stuff might bring to it.